Summer is rapidly drawing to a close, soon to be replaced with the dreary dark days of the autumn/winter months. As such Pocket-lint decided to make the most of the final sunny weeks by testing out the best water pistols we could find.
The result? A rediscovery of the joys of the waterfight and a newly found obsession with water balloons and catapults.
Water pistols and liquid flinging devices come in multiple forms, either as catapults, battery powered squirters with unrelenting streams or traditional pump-action with trigger combinations. Every type has its benefits, namely getting whoever you aim it at particularly wet. We especially like the added bonus of some having so much force behind the blast that they cause pain.
Here are the best of the best, but which one got us truly wet? Read on to find out...
Xploderz Xstormer 575
The Xstormer is more like a paintball gun than a water pistol, at least that is what it feels like if shot from 10-feet away. It fires small balls of jelly via a simple pull back and release mechanism on the back of the gun. It has some pretty serious range, managing to fling balls up to an alleged 22 metres.
In practise we found the Xstormer a little difficult to use, requiring you to tilt the gun back before putting a ball into the "chamber". If you fail to load things correctly the Xstormer would simply fire a sort of jelly mush rather than a more effective and direct Xploder round.
We figured the pull back and release firing mechanism might pose problems for the slightly weaker armed young person, while the jelly balls are presumably (we didn't try), not great to eat. All that aside, the pain factor and velocity the Xstormer flings its jelly blobs is definitely a plus. There is nothing better than being in a water fight and causing pain to the person who just squirted you. Sadly for many this just won't be deemed acceptable in a traditional water fight, but at least the evidence will melt.
Splash rating: 5
Super Soaker Scatter Blast
We couldn't talk water pistols without mentioning the almighty Super Soaker, who have long created uber water-based enjoyment for many.
Things approach water pistol perfection with the Scatter Blast, which is simple yet massively effective. The classic pump to shoot approach results in a powerful stream, but the decision to make the water scatter everywhere means you get a good area of effect.
The result is a powerful water pistol that when fully stocked with water, got us wetter than any other. We also like the simple no batteries and no trigger approach. It feels like there is a lot less that can go wrong with the Scatter Blast which is great if you plan on handing it over to a destructive 10-year-old.
The pump action itself is easy to do and doesn't require quite the strength the Xploder does, nor is aiming or firing the water pistol particularly inaccurate. Range could prove a problem for some as being essentially a water-powered shotgun, you need to get up close in order to squirt someone. All in all, however, the best of Super Soaker's bunch.
Splash rating: 9
Battery powered water pistol action was a long way off in the glory days of Pocket-lint's youth. It has, undoubtedly, now arrived and is totally transforming the way you can squirt water at each other. Having batteries in a gun means effectively carrying about a portable hose. It means you can rapidly get someone wet, but that watery ammo can rapidly run out.
The Aquafire AK47 is quite unlike any other water pistol we have seen before, being entirely see-through and having the added cool of looking like the iconic weapon. It also isn't a massive strain on batteries and works around the rapid water-use problem by having removable ammo clips.
The Aquafire is reasonably priced, looks good and performs well in any water battle. It does lose some of the punch found in the traditional pump operated and water balloon based systems, but easily makes up for it in cool.
Splash rating: 8
Super Soaker Point Break
With a name that instantly conjures up images of that classic Keanu Reeves pistol-into-the-air moment, the Point Break inspires plentiful water pistol-based tomfoolery. It is pretty tiny in construction and boasts a pump on the bottom to build up water pressure prior to shooting. The system actually works very well, allowing you to get things ready before going into battle and then squirting away until the pressure goes.
Initially power outdoes things like the battery-powered pistols, but soon drops to a damp squib when the pressure runs out. The pistol itself can actually carry a surprising amount of water for its size and has the added benefit of being very light.
The only downside to the Point Break is that you can't carry two at once, thanks to the need of having to pump the pistol up in order to get it to fire. We advise this one be used as a backup to your main water blaster, keep it charged and ready and let loose when your main cannon runs out of water.
Splash rating: 7
Aeromax Fire hose and back pack water pistol
We were slightly worried when this one greeted us with a rather large "made in China" sign scratched onto the front. Our doubts, however, were quickly put to rest when we realised just how much water this thing squirts out.
You essentially tease the water out of the hose via a pumping action and the result is a pretty solid stream of liquid that will get you seriously soaked. The backpack element also means you can carry lots of water round so you get a decent innings before a refill is needed.
Build quality isn't exactly great and the plastic tube used to get water from the backpack to hose feels like it could fall apart at any minute, but in the arms of an 8-year-old, this could do some serious water damage.
Splash rating: 8
Wild Sling water balloon catapult
This one has the potential of inflicting more damage than any other water-based device on the market. The bigger you can get the balloon, the more water on your opponent. The problem is, however, that thinking too big, or going for too much power will result in a balloon self destruct and a very wet crotch thanks to the Wild Sling's leg-based firing system.
The Wild Sling itself is simple and effective, operating like a very basic catapult where you use either leg as the two parts of the "Y". You then pull the sling back and fling a water balloon in the direction you are facing. It isn't particularly accurate, but a direct hit can result in an instant soaking.
We like the idea of being alternative with the Wild Sling, but we can't see it being massively good against conventional pistols. You need to fill balloons and then get down on your bum and fire the thing, this leaves you seriously open to attack. All that aside, there is something of the retro about water balloons we really like, it makes Wild Sling an inventive take on a classic.
Splash rating: 8
Super Soaker Thunderstorm
The Thunderstorm, while suffering from the same lack of oomph as the AK47, is unrelenting in its drenching.
Removable clips, which are quite a bit bigger than the Aquafire's, allow for more water to be carried about on the go. The clips also can be attached to your belt, so you can carry multiple when going into a water fight, although be warned that the Thunderstorm only comes with one in the box.
A fully charged set of batteries and plenty of water to play with will result in a total soaking if you manage a direct hit. The water pistol itself is also well made, feeling like it could manage even the most vigorous of water fights. It is light and easy to use and thanks to the "tactical rail" can even have a scope mounted on the top...coool.
Splash rating: 8
Overall, out of the ones we tested, our favourite has to be the Super Soaker Scatter Blast. It's not good for long range sniper style, but then from our experience water fights are never about long range fighting, but close quarter combat melee.
You might want to consider something battery powered as a drenching backup, but as a primary weapon the Scatter Blast will inflict plenty of water based damage.
Seen anything better? Let us know!